Words of Wisdom, Psalms 71-75 and Proverbs 15

I am on Day 15, halfway through the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. On each day, I read 5 Psalms and 1 Proverb. According to the plan, reading Psalms will help your relationship with God. Reading Proverbs will help your understanding of other humans and your relationships to them. Today I read Psalms 71-75 and Proverbs 15. Tomorrow I read Psalms 76-80 and Proverbs 16 and you are welcome to read along with me.

Each day, I pick out words and phrases that really stand out to me in the short readings. These are those phrases and my thoughts, sorta stream of consciousness, on them.

Psalm 71 “Now also when I am old and grey-haired, O God, forsake me not.”

Ruth was a Moabite woman that had married a man who’s mother was named Naomi. Naomi was from Judah. During a famine, the husbands of both these women passed away. Widowed Ruth and widowed Naomi, her mother-in-law, could have become destitute.

But Ruth refused to give up and she was loyal to her mother-in-law. The women took care of each other. During the day, Ruth would go into the fields to pick what was left of the grain and such. It wasn’t much but it was enough for the two women to get by. Meanwhile, I imagine that Naomi in her own way was loyal to Ruth. She was older and grey-haired but I’m certain she found ways to help out as much as she could. The 2 women leaned on each other for support, neither one forsaking the other.

It’s a really great story of loyalty in the Bible and eventually Ruth was rewarded for her character with a new husband named Boaz who took care of both women. Ruth was a great-grandmother to King David and an ancestor to Jesus eventually. It’s one of the great love stories in the Bible, a story of love between Ruth and Boaz but also one of great love between 2 women that refused to give up on each other and did not forsake each other.

Psalm 71 “Thou, O God, shalt quicken me again.”

Quicken I believe means something like to inspire and motivate again an individual so that they can perform actions towards desired outcomes or goals. Reading these words on a daily basis sorta quickens my motivation to understand things around me better and to stop and really reflect on life.

How many times has a person been down and out and then another person came along to offer words of encouragement from the Bible or a special quote or a sentiment like, “I’ll keep you in my prayers.”

One of my favorite motivational quotes from the Bible is “No weapon formed shall prosper.” Or there is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” If I want to have a good positive attitude, I tend to think of Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

And when I am sad or going through trials, I always think of Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

And then there is John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

And finally, there is this verse from Psalm 23,

“Yeah, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.”

Or Psalm 139 –

“When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there— you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.”

I don’t know why, but this last one comforts me a bit to think I was known before I was ever even born and my days and life were pre-destined under God’s control.

Psalm 72 “The mountains shall bring peace to the people.”

Years ago, we took an old RV roadtrip to Westcliffe, Colorado. We pulled into a fancy schmancy RV park with our old RV and kinda looked like Cousin Eddy and his family of kids had arrived. I mean we were from Kansas, technically.

I love Cousin Eddy, I really do. That’s my favorite character in National Lampoon’s.

Anyway, the next morning, my son and I go for a walk to the edge of the RV park and it is sunrise and we suddenly have this gorgeous, amazing view of the Rocky Mountains rising up to the sunrise sky. They were so beautiful.

If you ever get a chance to go to Colorado, look up Westcliffe. It’s a small little mountain town but absolutely beautiful.

Seeing majestic mountain views like that really takes your breath away for a moment and makes your soul feel good.

Psalm 72 “The Kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.”

Ok, ok, what the heck is this Seba place? I’ve heard of Sheba, as in the famous Queen of Sheba that I think married Solomon or something like that……but what is Seba? Is it some lesser kingdom, kinda like going to Oklahoma when you could go to Texas instead? I mean, Oklahoma is pretty cool…especially Turner Falls waterfalls or Tulsa and Woolaroc…..but it’s not Dallas.

Ok, one moment, I gotta look this up….Seba. Ok, so Seba was a kingdom of southern Arabia that occupied what is now known as Yemen. Oh man, I was waaay off. I kinda figured Seba was like Sudan or Algeria or something like that.

Hmmm, interesting.

Psalm 73 “How are they brought into desolation as in a moment! They are utterly consumed by terrors!”

This passage is about what happens to the wicked. The author says that they receive a swift end every time and that usually it is preceded by an intense stricken emotion on their faces as they realize that the end is very near and what they may face in the afterlife.

You see that older movie with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore where they do the super hot pottery moment together? So, there is the ending in this movie where the bad villain guy literally gets dragged to death into hell presumably by these dark shadow entities.

I don’t know why, but the terror on that guy’s face, it reminds me of this reading.

Psalm 73 “It is good for me to draw near to God. I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.”

It’s good to spend time in prayer or reading the Word. It comforts the soul, if nothing else. Even if the prayers go unanswered for various reasons (cue the Garth Brooks song), just the practice of meditation and prayer and reading scriptures can calm the heartbeat down.

Psalm 74 “They have cast fire into thy sanctuary.”

This talks about the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem. Once, years ago, a friend met me in Jerusalem on a Friday night. He said, “Follow me, I want to show you something special.” I was new to town and completely lost so I followed him here and there across the cobblestone paths of the Old City until it opened up to a big courtyard with white stone and all these people from every kind of background and ethnicity gathered there. It was the Western Wall of the temple. It was really neat to see. There were people there praying at the wall and putting little notes or messages in between the rocks. There were some pilgrims there that were so happy. Yeah, it was neat to see. I’ll always remember that gift he gave me to see that at sunset. Really cool.

Psalm 74 “Thou hast made summer and winter.”

The winters here in Vermont are not for the faint of heart. They really toughened me up and I thought coming from the Midwest I was tough already. Nah, not at all. Winter in Vermont lasts from late October to about mid-May really. It is a long season here.

You cannot go out on the lake really until Memorial Day weekend due to the cold waters and you would freeze if your kayak tipped over in the middle of Lake Willoughby.

But, summers here are the most incredible. The grass and flowers are this amazing shade of green and vibrant colors. I have never seen anything look so green and so beautiful except maybe Ireland.

Psalm 74 “O deliver not the soul of the turtledove until the multitude of the wicked.”

I believe in signs sometimes. Lately, we keep getting visited often by brown turtledoves in our yard. They sometimes fly up in pairs of 2 to the railing on the porch.

I believe they are a sign of love and affection. Turtledoves are really graceful, beautiful looking birds. I love them and Cardinals, Robins, and Bluejays. I do believe Cardinals are visible to you after a loved one has passed and “Cardinals are here when angels are near.”

Another thing to pay close attention to is owls and ravens or crows. An owl hooting is supposed to be a forewarning of a potential death in the family or among friends. A crow or raven is often associated with the Norse God Odin who is considered the AllFather. He is said to learn about the goings on of man through his messengers, the ravens and crows. Crows are very intelligent creatures and supposedly a certain number of caws from a crow or raven, can signal a specific message to the person who is aware. Also, crows and ravens are often seen around places where people pass away as they are said to help the spirits move on to the afterlife. You will often see them near hospitals or nursing homes.

Proverbs 15 “A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

This is a word of advice in Proverbs to as they say, “speak softly but carry a big stick.” Or to be slow to anger and to speak calmly (Keep calm and carry on) and peacefully as much as you can. You can catch more with honeyed words than with words of anger and harshness. That doesn’t mean to be false or fake but to be aware of your tone as others are reading your body language faster than even your words.

Proverbs 15 “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.”

I like this line. It’s good to remember. When our heart is full and glad, we don’t tend to have a grumpy expression. Things I have found over the years to make my heart happier: watching comedians do stand-up, going for walks in nature, listening to great pop music with a nice beat, going out with friends to a bistro or to just share a drink or small meal together.

Proverbs 15 “Better is a dinner with herbs where love is than a fatted calf where hatred is.”

Oh wow. This is so true. Once I had an amazing friend that loved to cook. This friend would make the most fabulous and yummy food but he’d get all worked up and frustrated and angry by cooking the fancy food. By the time we sat down to eat, he’d be in a foul mood and just kill the vibe altogether. I’d rather eat a simple salad than go through those dinners again, getting yelled at and such. No fun. The food wasn’t worth it.

As a parent, it’s important to remember this for your own children. Don’t subject them to all sorts of meanness and nasty behavior at the dinner table.

Proverbs 15 “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud but he will establish the boundary of the widow.”

God is a source of consolation and protection for the broken-hearted. That’s what I get from this passage here.

Proverbs 15 “Before honor is humility.”

This is the ending of Proverbs 15. It is just a small comment but a big message. Before a person can have fame and fortune, they must go through the humiliation and hardship of trying to find success. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been working solidly for nearly 5 years now on blogging, podcasting, on writing books, and on photography on the side plus the usual 9 to 5 and that can get exhausting plus you will have serious bouts of self-doubt, worry, and fear. Marketing these projects is really a bear and you have to put yourself out there and some people can be so rude. When I wrote books, I had a lot of supporters but then one or two comments about my “ego” and such really put a huge damper on my motivation and drive to succeed. Waiting 5 years for a significant ROI on all your endless endeavors and work can really feel at times like ………..ugh, you just want to throw in the towel. But I remind myself over and over of the Ray Bradbury quote that “You are never a failure until you quit trying.” This is to learn humility.

I was watching a major rapper on YouTube talk about his journey to success. He said he actually was in the industry for six or seven years solidly working and working and working before anything good happened for him. That rapper was 50 cent. Now look at him. A humbling beginning comes before the honor. This was a good thing to hear. A lot of folks think this success stuff is instantaneous for folks when it is not at all for many.


Words of Wisdom, Psalms 66-70 and Proverbs 14

Today is day 14 in the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. I listened to Psalms 66-70 and Proverbs 14 on YouTube. There was a lot this time to write down and really reflect on. According to the Bible reading plan, reading Psalms will build your relationship with God and help you to understand God better. Reading Proverbs will give you better insight into human behavior and our relationships with friends, coworkers, and family.

These are the quotes that stood out to me in the readings today and just my own stream of consciousness thoughts on them.

Psalm 66 “Let not the rebellious exalt themselves.”

Ok, when I first thought on this passage, I quickly imagined the building of the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament. The people of what must have been ancient Mesopotamia wanted to be like God so they built this enormous tower into the sky to reach the heavens but God caused the tower to fall. It was known as the Tower of Babel and now today when someone speaks in a confusing manner, they are known as “babeling.” That is because, not only did the tower fall but he devised a way in which to separate the people from uniting using different languages, genders, etc.

A house divided will not stand. If you want to conquer, you must conquer from within by changing the mindset of the people to feel that they are separate and unique from each other. Some countries have a multitude of parties in their parliamentary elections. Others, have a multitude of self-identifier groups like 10 or 20 racial groups or 10 or 20 genders or 10 or 20 creed identifications, etc. etc.

In order to become a friend to your neighbor, you must see the likeness between you.

I’m not sure about this phrase here because I like to see the commonalities among “brothers and sisters” rather than focus on our differences. I think we are better together and as long as we don’t operate in a spirit of overthrow and rebellion, we can do great things together. We are stronger and better together but it is important to stay humble rather than give in to pride which leads to self-exaltation.

This admittedly is a hard thing to do and I’m not that great at it, myself.

The second thing that comes to mind from this passage that is a thorn of a bit in my own side just as St. Paul had his own thorn of contention, is the phrase, “honor thy mother and father.”

As teenagers, we seek to pull away from our parents that raised and protected us, in order to develop our own identities. I see this in my own son. We made burgers together on the grill and he wanted to take over and lead how the burgers would be made and I let him but, honestly, we both struggled at it cause Dad was taking a nap and we wanted to do this as a nice thing for Dad. In the end, the burgers were a bit sub-par and out of frustration, my son made some comments about my cooking abilities in a rather rebellious way.

This is natural and these tensions arise in parenting with teens but when a teen becomes too rebellious and self-exalting to the shame of the parents, that can cause concern and issues. I am guilty of this myself with my own mother and father and need this passage reminder to honor and respect them more.

I had a good childhood. But some of us grew up with really harsh and bad circumstances as a child and were not unfortunately protected or given loving instructions for life and had to figure things out on our own and become resourceful. This life lesson too is a blessing in disguise because it developed resilience in us and later on down the road, we can acknowledge finally the benefit of having endured this and how it made us stronger and wiser and faster and braver and willing to take risks for better gains. Some of the most amazing people out there came from the hardest childhoods.

Psalm 66 “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.”

Silver is heated up and melted to see its grain and value and quality. Likewise, people must under go pressure to become a diamond from a lump of coal or to become like a beautiful silver or gold from the heat of intense fire such as various struggles of life (trauma, divorce, crime, drugs, alcohol, etc.)

Another phrase they often say in Christianity is that “he’s got you on the potter’s wheel.” Humans, which in the Book of Genesis derived from clay or mud, are then put on the wheel of life just like Conan the Barbarian was put on the wheel of pain in order to make them bigger and better and stronger and wiser. He molds us into something better through our adversity just as in Japanese culture, kintsugi, is the process of taking beautiful porcelain vases that broke and inlaying gold to connect the broken parts back together to make a more beautiful and expensive vase.

People that have been through intense suffering in life, tend to have the most amazing aura or vibe about them and they are usually very compassionate and empathetic from having gone through their own struggles and turned around to help younger others. I see a lot of these folks in social welfare type of jobs.

“Well, I’s seen a share of sadness,

and a couple shares of doubt,

but I suppose a seed’s got to be buried,

before it’ll start to sprout.” (anonymous)

Sometimes when we’re in the dark, we think we are alone and won’t make it. Just remember a plant needs the darkness, to be buried, in order to break through and become something better from the little seed.

Psalm 66 “We went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into the wealthy place.”

Ok, so naturally, first association in this passage is, of course, the Israelites that come out into the Promised Land. But it took them about 40 years of wandering around here and there and everywhere like they were in a family circus cartoon. And, even then, only the young ones really got to go into the Promised Land, the ones that didn’t forsake the commandments. All these old folks, what happened to them? Did they stay in the desert or wander back to Egypt? No one really knows, but it was the young ones, the fresh faces that got to go in.

You ever watch a movie where there’s a lot of conflict and drama and bad stuff but the parent keeps protecting the kids throughout the movie, like the movie The Quiet Place or maybe the sequel, and anyway, in the end…..the parent doesn’t really make it to the good place but they find a way to get the kids there. It’s kinda like the Dad in the movie Bird Box who doesn’t make it though he provided for the kids and the wife for a long time. That stuff is sad, man.

But anyway, parenting is like that. Sometimes we go through real fire like getting fired from a job and we still gotta be a parent and take care of the kids and figure out a new game plan. We spend our days like that guy in The Pursuit of Happiness, applying for jobs or working low paying prospects trying to show our worth and value, so we can move up in the world for our kids and we are running here and running there and never really stop running. But in the end, it is worth it, because either we or our kids down the road might step into that wealthy place.

See…sometimes, life ain’t about you. Sometimes, you think you’re the it actor in the play but in fact, you are just the mom or dad to the main protagonist. Sometimes, your kid got to see your struggle in life so that they can get something better and move up into the Promised Land themselves. So keep going.

Hannah raised Samuel.

Moses gave over authority to Joshua.

Ruth married Boaz and became the ancestor to Jesus.

Sarah raised Isaac and Hagar raised Ishmael.

Sometimes it ain’t about us, it’s about our kids and their futures.

Psalm 67 “May God cause his face to shine on us.”

This makes me think of God as the sun. If that’s the case, I’m like a sunflower always tracking the sun through the sky and getting my energy and life-force from it. I am like a plant that needs the sun for photosynthesis. Sunflowers grow abundantly in harvest regions of the world. They just grow there naturally and Native Americans associate them with crops and agriculture and abundant harvests.

In ancient mythology there are many stories of women like Clytie and Daphne that were turned into woodland items after a love affair. Clytie loved Helios, the Sun God, but he loved another due to the influence of Aphrodite and so she turned into a violet that followed the movement of the sun. Daphne, likewise was involved with a Sun God Apollo. She loved the woodlands and invoked her father, the river God, to turn her into a laurel tree to escape the chase of Apollo.

Psalm 67 “Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits.”

I’m not big about prayer at the dinner table admittedly but we do say out loud around the table before our meal, one thing that we enjoyed about our day and were grateful for. It’s a good reminder of big things and little things that brought us joy.

I’m grateful I wake up in the morning. A lot of people pass through the night so I am grateful for that. I’m glad for my health and family and friends and all the good things God set at my table and around me. It’s a good life. Life is good.

Psalm 67 “Scatter thou the people who delight in war.”

President Eisenhower was the Commander of Europe during World War II. He’s from my home state of Kansas. He hated war. He said he hated the futility of it. If you notice, through his tenure in office, there weren’t a lot of conflicts that the US joined into and it was considered the golden era the swingin’ 50s. This was a man that made his success and living through warfare and rose to a position of power and authority so that he could prevent other younger generations from experiencing the devastation and tragedy that he personally must have witnessed himself. I think the folks that are quick to sound the alarm for war, have never really been in it like what they say, chickenhawks. War is harsh and brutal.

Psalm 69 “I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my own crying.”

Speaking of war, one of the nasty effects of it is post traumatic stress disorder that affects both men and women and even children. This “sinking feeling” is depression and anxiety from the memories and the panic attacks associated with the feeling of loss of control and fear and the feeling of intense dread. PTSD is pretty awful for a human being to endure. Many do it alone or are isolated or thrown out of their homes to dwell on the streets and the PTSD can lead to greater mental health concerns down the road if not treated properly.

The best way to help someone with PTSD is unconditional love and acceptance. It’s hard. It takes a very long time but eventually little by little, the panic attacks go away and the person becomes stronger and stronger inside and can let go. They just need support and someone they can trust to stick by them in good times and certainly in these bad times.

Psalm 69 “For thy sake, I have born reproach. I am become a stranger unto my brethren and an alien unto my mother’s children……I have become a proverb to them……I was the song of drunkards.”

Oh wow, I can relate to this. This is painful.

When you decide to follow God or Jesus, people do this to you. When you decide to take up your own cross, to step out in faith, to spread ideas and teachings and beliefs you learned from the Bible, this will happen to you.

It is awful.

People just kinda stop calling or stop liking your posts on Facebook or sorta just distance themselves from you. You don’t hear from a relative that used to be friendly before. They just never call anymore or ask how you are doing.

They just distance.

And some, will even tear you down publically or in gossip by saying harsh things about you being a hypocrite or a liar or full of it. They attack your personal character cause they cannot attack your message. So you become lampooned. You become a joke. You become a song for the drunk people and a proverb or a wise lesson for others on what not to do.

You suddenly are the Ned Flanders of The Simpsons. Everybody makes fun of Ned. But he’s really not such a bad guy and Homer could certainly do worse with other neighbors.

Proverbs 14 “The wise woman builds her house but the foolish pulls it down with her own hands.”

Don’t pull your own house down. I know, I know. We got a lot of women out there saying, “Leave that man, he ain’t no good. He doesn’t respect you. He gaslights you, etc. etc.” But when you leave that man, you leave the empire you built. It ain’t about the man. It’s about the time and energy and effort you spent investing in your family’s empire.

Don’t pull your own house down. Go to couples counseling. Be slow to anger. Read books about how to make it work better. Work on yourself. Maybe even separate for a while.

Don’t listen to some of these ladies, y’all. Sometimes, they….I hate to say it….but some folks just want your empire to crumble so they can snatch up a part of it. It’s true. I said what I said and I meant it.

Don’t trust every advisor. Now, if he’s abusing you or your kids…..that’s an entirely different story. But use discernment and don’t be foolish, tearing down your own empire.

Proverbs 14 “He who is perverse in his ways despises the Lord.”

This is true. There was a time, I wasn’t so big at all on faith and had fallen away. I was doing stuff here and there that felt real good but was bad for my soul. The more I did those things, the less I wanted to hear about God. I was like Wormwood shying away from the light, slinking away into the dark corner. It was about shame. All of it was about shame.

Proverbs 14 “The prudent considers well his steps.”

I live near Franconia. It is where Robert Frost wrote the Road Not Taken.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Sometimes in life, we hit a crossroads. We can go left or we can go right. We spend a long time like Robert Frost did, looking down both roads wishing we could take both and wondering which would be the best for us to take.

But be careful at crossroads, for that is where we often are said to meet the devil as well or temptation. He waits at the crossroads of our life to lead us in the wrong direction or down the shortened path or to the one that goes over a cliff.

Be careful at the crossroads. Pay attention. If you meet a devil and you are certain he is one, take the path he advises against. That’s my two cents. Unless he’s clever enough to realize you would do the opposite of what he says and switches the cups like a Princess Bride switch-a-roo. Then you might be screwed unless you figure out that he switched the cups again and you’re one step ahead of his game.

Be smart. That devil is crafty.

Proverbs 14 “The poor man is hated even by his neighbors but the rich man has many friends.”

This is so true. The poor man loses friends while the rich man gains more. They are in love and obsessed with his wealth and prestige and fame. The poor man can share a great wisdom to the rich man. The rich man will steal it and make much more money off the idea. The poor man could say, “Hey, that’s my idea!” But no one cares and no one listens cause no one cares really about the poor man in comparison to the rich man they value much more. And it’s not even the rich man they value. It is the smoke and mirrors, the illusion of success, that they love and seek to attain for themselves by association with the rich man. The rich man lacks real friends, just sycophants that seek to be him.

This is sad for both parties honestly.

Proverbs 14 “In a multitude of people is a King’s honor, but in the lack of people is the downfall of the Prince.”

Oh wow. That is a good statement. Really good. If I was royalty, I would hang that on my wall next to my bed or something. So basically, it implies that a king’s honor only comes from the love of his subjects. If the people love him, he has honor. If the people turn from the King, he is subject to danger and downfall.


So a King must always be aware of this and play to the love of the masses.


Proverbs 14 “A King’s favor is toward his servants, but his wrath is towards those who cause him shame.”

Ah, another King statement. Ok, these are correlated. A King must be swiftly wrathful with a servant that causes him or her shame due to the above statement. If he loses face with the masses or with the people, he will lose honor.

These are tied together and pretty fascinating. Maybe if you are a King, write them down and put them together near your bed to remember how to stay in power for a long time.

It reminds me of that line in the movie The Gentleman when the kingpin drug lord says, “When a lion’s hungry, he eats.” I guess the way to survive, kingship only is to be aware of the masses and their wavering support and meanwhile being trusting towards your servants but also swiftly disciplinary or even brutal towards those that dare to toss your authority.

Hmm….I’d make lousy royalty…..though I understand it and I find it fascinating.

Anyway, that’s Psalms 66-70 and Proverbs 14. That was quite a lot to unpack and an interesting session. Thanks for reading and I look forward to any comments. Have a good day!

Words of Wisdom, Psalms 61-65 and Proverbs 13

I finished my devotional this morning. The final page read, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope.” Romans 15-13.

It was a pretty good day. I had a lot of hope to get some goals done to day. I worked on some work, some housework, this article, and my new podcast called Crafting Short Stories.

It is cold and drizzly here in Vermont still but that means the grass has turned this vibrant gorgeous shade of green like something out of a movie about Ireland. It was a peaceful, hopeful, joyful kinda day. I watched my Psalms and Proverbs for today on YouTube, scribbled down the interesting parts, and kinda took a break from it for a bit.

I made some dinner for the family, just hobo dinners. These are super easy and I used to make these in the Girl Scouts as a kid. Basically take a large square of aluminum foil. Fill it up with hamburger or cut sausage and then add cut up potatoes, onions, and carrots, or mushrooms. Don’t forget your seasonings like garlic salt or seasoning pepper or slap yo’ mama (cajun stuff). Close up the foil packet and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. I usually make 1 packet per family member. It’s yummy and a super easy dish to teach your kids to make.

So we did that and made cookies and brownies. I’m trying to spend more time with my son cause he’s 16. He needs to learn how to cook so we make dinners together and its nice quality time.

Well this gave me time to reflect on the readings. I started this venture 13 days ago, reading Billy Graham’s Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Each day I read 5 Psalms and 1 Proverbs passage and write my thoughts on them. Reading Psalms is supposed to build your relationship to God and reading Proverbs is supposed to help you understand humans better.

Here’s the things that stood out to me today:

Psalm 62 “Surely men of low degree are vanity and men of high degree are a lie; to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.”

Vanity first means to have the personal characteristic of being too prideful or into yourself, your appearance, and your achievements. So, I think what the author is saying is that men of low degree are in constant need to be self-centered or self-interested in order to pursue or hope to attain high degree levels. Meanwhile, the person of high degree “is a lie”. I think this means that the person of high degree is all smoke and mirrors like the Wizard of Oz in Emerald City. Their attainment of high degree status is contrived upon illusion of grandeur. That “it” life ain’t all it really is shown to crack up to be. I think that’s what that means.

“to be laid in the balance”

Hmm…..this part makes me think of Osirus, the ancient Egyptian
God of the Underworld who judged the living and the dead. He was supposedly the precursor to Jesus and their lives draw some parallels. But Osirus uses the balance of scales to judge a person’s heart. If the heart is light as a feather, the person is judged by Maat to pass the test. But if the heart is heavier, Ammut then proceeds to devour the person on the spot.

As a kid, we used to play a rendition of this in the game called “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.” Basically, you lay flat on your friends hands like a corpse.

I know, pretty morbid game for kids, right? What the heck?

Then, next in the game, if you suddenly raise up, your friends have deemed you light as a feather (a good hearted person) but if you lay flat and no one raises you up, your friends have judged you as a bad person that stays grounded.

If was kinda a weird game like playing a ouija board or something. I used to have a ouija board too for a bit as a kid. I took it to a slumber party. We played it that night for an hour or so. Nothing much bizarre happened other than the Dad found out and he burned it in the yard. No more ouija board. Bummer.

“they are all together lighter than vanity.”

This last line I think is in regards to shallowness. When you have a conversation with a fairly vain person, you sometimes get this feeling of shallowness or no depth to the conversation. (I sincerely hope you’re not thinking this now as you read my writings.)

This seems to imply all of this, the chasing after vain things or the setting up of high dollar illusions, is all “meaninglessness in the wind” to quote Ecclesiastes. There’s no major point to all of it. No depth.

Psalm 62 “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

Ah, this is challenging. As Notorious B.I.G. would say, “Mo money, mo problems.” The more money we make, the more we spend and so what’s the point of pursuing capitalism so fiercely and harshly that we ruin our health and beauty for it which is in fact, the true wealth of the world.

Also, money comes and money goes. You can’t really rely on it. Best to live the simple man lifestyle.

I’m not good at this. I like to buy crap. I got crap everywhere…in the closet, in the garage, in the kitchen…all over unnecessary appliance stuff or hobby stuff that just fills all the space up and I gotta dust around it now. Best to not buy so much junk. It just weighs you down.

I say this but man, I love to shop for knick knacky stuff I want rather than need.

Psalm 62 “Thou renderest to every man according to his work.”

This is the ole “you reap what you sow” line. You work hard and usually you receive a good portion of money. This is not always the case but still, sure, I still want to believe in the American Dream, even though sometimes I get jaded and think it is dying out, this picket fence American Dream notion.

Psalm 63 “I meditate on thee in the night watches.”

I used to do Perpetual Adoration at a little chapel at 3 am in the morning. This is a significant hour of the day as it is the exact opposite time, 3 pm, of the death of Jesus on the Cross. 3 am is also called the Witching Hour and is a time that sometimes, mischief and bad stuff can happen or people can do shady spellwork stuff, hopefully not.

So, I’d wake up at 2:30 am and dress and drive down to the chapel at 2:45 am on Wednesday mornings. You’d be surprised by what you see at 2:45 am on the streets and there are people up and about, just walking streets and alleyways and such.

To pray at 3 am then is to be “on night watch”, to guard others with prayer. A lot of convents with nuns have this 3 am to 4 am communal prayer time daily.

Psalm 64 “The pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleys also are covered with corn.”

Psalm 64 talks about the abundance of good things the divine, or God provides to the world. Many folks that have not experienced much trauma in childhood, tend to have an abundance mindset. It’s the idea that if we lose something, we can trust we will get more. Operating at this level is easier to manifest things you need in your life. It is like driving a race car as Tony Robbins would say, and choosing to look in the direction of where you are steering rather than focusing on the hazards like a wall or fires and such. It is the epitome of “getting into the zone.”

Someone with a scarcity mindset probably grew up experiencing the trauma of going through some of those hazards. They then developed less trust which ultimately limits one’s own capacity in life, like self-sabotage. Someone like an agoraphobic has a scarcity mindset. Folks with this mindset focus on the safety of things and the hazards that could happen. They look at the wall while driving the race car and eventually can end up crashing into the wall or others. People with a scarcity mindset probably grew up in households where lack of resources occurred. They think that there are only so many pieces of the pie and they should have to fight for their piece. But abundance mindset folks believe and trust, there will be more pie out there for them if the first gets all eaten.

Proverbs 13 “There is one person who makes himself rich; yet has nothing. And one who makes himself poor; yet he has great riches.”

A miser like Ebenezer Scrooge, is someone that has wealth but chooses not to spread it around to others and then maybe doesn’t have the greatest of relationships to others. Then there are extremely poor folks that live in a single trailer with 5 other people and they are actually wealthy in terms of companionship, friends, and family members.

There’s this book I read as a kid called The Rainbow Fish. It was a story about a beautiful and gorgeous little fish with scales on it the color of the rainbow. The fish swam alone and had no friends cause the other fish were kinda jealous of how beautiful these scales were. Then the rainbow fish learned that if he gave a scale away to each of his friends, they could share the rainbow too and be happy and the whole group including the rainbow fish were happier too. He finally had friends that he so wanted. All he had to do was give himself away. Be of service.

That’s one of the first things you learn in sales and marketing. It’s not about selling the pen so you can make money for yourself. It’s about service. It’s about how you can show the customer that they need the pen and it will benefit them in the future. You, as a sales person, show them the impact of buying the pen for their future lives and the lives of those they care about. It’s about understanding the customer and being of service to them. For someone like Zig Ziglar, sales is really just about building relationships and networks. How can I be of service to you and how can you be of service to me? That’s a Ziglar question there.

Proverbs 13 “A wicked messenger falls into trouble.”

So there’s this great scene in the movie 300 where the Spartan King gets mad at the message presented to him by the messenger for the King of Persia. He answers the message by kicking the enemy’s messenger into a big, dark pit.

“Don’t shoot the messenger.” This is a common phrase today.

I guess the point is, avoid being a messenger if you can. Jonah was supposed to give a message to Nineveh. He went all over the place trying to avoid giving the message because of this “shoot the messenger” mentality that he feared.

Proverbs 13 “He who spares his rod hates his son; but he who loves his son disciplines him promptly.”

This is kinda an odd old-timey statement. We don’t really use “switches” or rods anymore. Not like back in the day.

But a strict parent can be a good thing if handled right.

When I was in 1st or 2nd grade, my mom caught me stealing a Smurf statue from a little department store. I just wanted it. It was that blonde girl Smurfette or something and I would watch the Saturday morning cartoons all the time.

My mom found out and made me go back to the store with the Smurfette statue in my pocket. While she stood in the background, I had to go up to the cashier and apologize and hand him over the Smurfette. I was worried and scared.

Surprisingly the cashier was pretty chill about the whole thing and said he appreciated my honesty. After that, I didn’t really shoplift much ever again.

That tactic of disciplining me early on and promptly led me to a crime-free adulthood and I suppose I should be grateful for it.

That’s all I got for reading these Psalms and Proverbs. Tomorrow will be Psalms 66-70 and Proverbs 14. Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow!

Words of Wisdom, Psalms 56-60 and Proverbs 12

Good day! It’s a beautiful Sunday here in Vermont. The grass here has turned a gorgeous shade of green. Soon I hope to get a hanging basket or two for the porch. I stick to the petunias. They seem the easiest to water and frankly, not kill.

Today I continue on Day 12 of reading the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Plan. By reading Psalms, you are supposed to strengthen your understanding of the divine while reading Proverbs will strengthen your relationships with other humans. These are a few items from the readings and just stream of consciousness ideas about them.

My devotional reading today was Matthew 5:43-48 and was about loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you. I have a hard time doing this but over the years, I learned that bitterness leaves a stain on my heart that can be used to turn me into an ugly person in regards to my character. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping it hurts the other person. There’s been a few folks over the years I had to learn to forgive and it’s not an easy thing. You gotta keep doing it over and over again until it becomes a habit or second nature to forgive quicker.

As they say, when a relationship doesn’t work out, when he or she don’t want you no more and you gotta deal with the pain of rejection….you gotta learn to keep your head up high and “take the L”. Take the L means to take the loss. In a lot of cities, there is an L train or subway system. So, when you split up, you walk away and board that “take the L” train. Best thing you can do is get some separation space between you 2 until you can lick your wounds and heal yourself and that takes time, at least 2 months generally for me.

Another valuable lesson I learned from a preacher once is “you just gotta flush it.” When we make a mess using the restroom, do we turn around and look at what we did forever? Nah. We flush and don’t think much more about it and move on. Likewise, we gotta learn to move on from things that hurt us. Sitting there staring at the mess ain’t gonna fix it. Make peace with it, flush it, and move on.

Ok, so here are the Psalms and Proverbs quotes:

Psalm 56 “My soul takes refuge in you.”

I visited a refugee camp once in Gaza. The living conditions were pretty rough to say the least. The bathroom I used was a tent with a trough down the middle that you squatted over to pee. I slept on the beach with a super dirty twin thin mattress that was brown and a brown woolen blanket. What really surprised me is how many happy kids were running and playing in the streets and having the grandest time without a care in the world.

Poverty is all about mindset and perception. Some folks can spend their whole lives at a low income and be happy. Others, lose their things and go from riches to rags and become so very miserable. Everybody loves a rags to riches story but I kinda like a riches to rags story too cause the people learn to value ordinary folks all over again and to count their blessings and enjoy the little things. It’s a harsh miserable lesson but a good one.

Likewise to the little kids in the refugee camp, people that trust in God or the Universe and take refuge in them during difficult times seem to fair a little bit better. They are more patient and serene:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Psalm 57 “My soul is among lions.”

So this passage makes me thing of Daniel in the lions’ den. He was a good government employee for King Darius but he had enemies that reported he was praying on his own time and doing things the King did not approve of. So, although he did not want to, King Darius ordered Daniel put into a den of lions overnight and they closed the door. They assumed the lions would devour Daniel.

The next day, the King and his advisors came to the den and opened the gate. To their wonder, they found Daniel sitting calmly inside. Daniel said that the lions’ mouths had been closed by God and Daniel’s prayers. Still it must have been nerve racking to sit in a room in the dark with prowling lions and fighting lions.

I wouldn’t sleep a wink.

Sometimes we go into situations where we feel outnumbered or surrounded or we just got a bad intuitive feeling about it. This story is a good reminder that prayer, trust, and courage might help.

Psalm 58 “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.”

I don’t know about this one. Is evil and deceit a learned behavior or is it ingrained in the DNA prior to birth? This would be an interesting scientific experiment maybe to study the impact of genetics on criminal behavior later in life.

Psalm 59 “God is my defence.”

Hold the line.

How many times have you heard this in football games? The defensive players don’t get the honor of the quarterback but they are just as worthy and hardworking on the team and have been responsible for many great wins in the NFL.

There’s a passage in the Bible about Watchmen on the wall. It reminds me of Game of Thrones with ice zombies and ice dragons and such. But the passage is just about being aware of contemporary events and being a watchman to warn others of upcoming problems or concerns and to “blow your trumpet” as they say or “sound the horn in the deep” or “blow the shofar” to help others. It reminds of those old Viking movies and such where the scout in the tower blows the horn to announce arrivals or dangers to the town.

Psalm 59 “Save me from bloody men for lo, they lie in wait for my soul.”

On average, about 1.4 million people visit hospitals in the United States every year for emergency treatment for assaults. I looked this up. There’s no way I’d know that.

I was wondering how many homicides occur on average in a year in the US and it is approximately around 26,000 people. For every 100,000 people, 7 people die of homicide.

Proverbs 12 “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.”

Nothing more humiliating than an awful spouse that doesn’t listen to you or openly respect you in public. The worst place to get yelled at by a disrespectful spouse is Wal-mart.

Proverbs 12 “Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant than he who honors himself but lacks bread.”

Some folks like to front.

It’s better to be humble and wealthy than prideful and poor. There’s a lot of folks living in mansions that can barely pay the bills or buy some PB & J and bread for dinner.

I’ve been thinking about an alternative living arrangement in the future for our family. We want to downsize and maybe either live outta an RV when the kids go off to college or we can build a tiny home like they show on all those YouTube videos. This would be less cleaning, more money in our pocket, and easier way to travel around if we wanted to.

Proverbs 12 “A prudent man covers shame.”

This line is interesting. Prudence, I suppose, requires discretion and holding the tongue but is this omission of truth? Not really unless asked directly. Best to keep your cards close to you when playing Texas Hold’Em and not reveal your emotions until the time when you can comfortably without losing a chance at the pot of money.

You gotta know when to fold em, know when to hold em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” (Kenny Rogers, The Gambler)

But you also, like George Strait says, gotta keep an “Ace in the hole.” Keep some stuff hidden, especially assets and such that can be used later in case of emergency and such.

I got a few things here and there. I got some stuff I’ve lugged around for 20 years now hoping eventually they can pay off. I collect coins and stamps and all sorts of other fascinating stuff….some old Obama Presidency newspapers, some stamps from Jamestown 400th year celebration. Heck, I even kept some Covid masks thinking some day maybe they’d be as valuable as a Black Plague mask down the road. Who knows?

So that’s what I got for the Psalms and Proverbs readings today. Tomorrow is Day 13 and the readings are Psalms 61-65 and Proverbs 13. You are welcome to read along or provide comments. Thanks for reading and have a good evening!

Words of Wisdom, Psalms 51-55 and Proverbs 11

I’m still playing catch up.

I think after this one, I might be all caught up….maybe. I don’t know, I lost track of it.

That’s the problem with this daily discipline stuff. It’s like going on a diet or a New Year’s resolution. It starts out great for the first week of January and by week two, you slip for one day and then the next day gets easier to say no to the exercise and before you know it, you’re skipping the gym altogether to wait in the drive thru line at Dunkin Donuts for 2 Boston creme donuts and a iced vanilla latte with extra whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate.

Yep. Been there, done that.

I kinda like Dunkin now. When we first got to New England, I was like, “How come there’s a Dunkin Donuts on every street corner?” But now, 2 years later, I get it. I’m a Dunkie Junkie. It’s true. I told my friend if they ever did an action figure character of me, like a kid’s toy, it’d be me with a Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand and my accessories would be my two dogs. We’re inseparable.

Ok, so where was I? So today I read Psalms 51-55 and Proverbs 11 on the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Reading Psalms is supposed to strengthen your relationship to God and reading Proverbs is supposed to strengthen your relationship to other humans.

So here’s the little things I picked out here and there that were interesting to me and just my thoughts on these lines:

Psalm 51 “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be white as snow.”

Ok, what is hyssop? Is that like cattails? Like those brown fuzzy things you find at the pond? One moment, gotta look this up…

“It is an evergreen garden herb of the mint family.”

What is that, like spearmint or peppermint?

Purge me with hyssop…..purge me with spearmint?

What? I still don’t get it. Purge means to get rid of…..so are they suggesting it’s some kinda minty fresh herbal laxative?

Yeah, I guess you would be clean or rather cleaned out if it was a laxative, goodness. Good grief.

Ok, so the second part of this line reminds me of Snow White. When you think about the Disney movie, it draws parallels to Adam and Eve in the Garden with the Evil Queen that gives Snow White the apple being similar to the snake in the Garden.

So is this line where the idea for a “Snow White” character came from as the Disney character is both beautiful on the inside and out?

Psalm 51 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.”

Huh. This also is an interesting line. The author speaks of the other gods that are worshipped at that time that required burnt offering sacrifices. The author says that God doesn’t require burnt offerings but rather, God seems to require a broken spirit of the reader. Is that correct?

This is perplexing to me. Why is it necessary to break someone’s spirit? It makes me think of that other line in the Bible about replacing someone’s heart of stone with a more compassionate God-fearing heart.

So maybe that’s why Jesus hung out more with the misfits because they had more broken spirits that could be molded and crafted for the greater good? So maybe having a broken spirit is the first step then towards other faith duties like becoming a faith leader or an advisor or a prophet or, I don’t know, choir lady.

When you think about someone like Moses, he had to be broken a bit and go to the desert for a while before deciding to return to Egypt to fulfill his duties. Likewise, Elijah also fled to the desert and returned. Jesus spent time to in the desert. This “desert moment” or dark night of the soul moment seems to be a necessary precursor to greatness.

Psalm 51 “then shall they offer bullocks upon the altar.”

Ok, I don’t know what bullocks were back then. I kinda got an idea of what a bullock might be and I really hope it’s not rocky mountain oysters. Just sayin. That’s a little gross.

Oh, it means a “castrated bull”. Ok, so I guess it’s the full bull. Phew.

Psalm 52 “I am like a green olive tree.”

Oh I like green olives. They are yummy. Especially the Italian green olives.

Psalm 55 “It was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance, we took sweet counsel together.”

So the author is talking about how the biggest betrayal or hurt in his life came from a dear and close friend. This cut the deepest. So true. When we look back on the stuff we struggled on in life, it generally is due to a very close relationship that got broke down.

Proverbs 11 “By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.”

A place that is lead by a great service-oriented politician bears a lot of good fruit and becomes a wonderful place to be. A place that is lead by a corrupt self-centered politician though, can become quite run down and crime-ridden and just a mucky mess in general. We see this all the time in modern days, things haven’t changed much, same principles still apply today.

That’s all I got for tonight. I’m off to bed. I’m sleepy. Got a busy day tomorrow. The readings for tomorrow are Psalms 56-60 already and Proverbs 12…..moving right along. Thanks for joining me and have a good day!

Words of Wisdom, Psalms 46 – 50 and Proverbs 10

I’m a bit behind in the readings admittedly. Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday and our family has been spending a lot of time together, planting berry patches near the pond for the wild animals. We planted a gooseberry plant, 2 blackberry plants, and 2 blueberry plants. We forgot to get the garden fence covers to protect the plants from wild animals, so my husband and I headed into town to procure these things. We came back and it looked like something had already eaten a part of one plant. To their misfortune though, they’d picked the gooseberry plant and apparently left the rest of it intact cause goosberries are super sour! So we put tomato guards around them and covered them with garden fencing with zip ties.

Sometimes, you really gotta protect little things when they first start to grow. Anyway, I really hope they will grow big and strong. It says it may be 5 years before they will produce berries but sometimes it’s good in life to plant good things for the future with no expectation of really seeing the harvest of those things.

I planted the berries for the wild animals cause I like to watch them with my binoculars. My husband, on the other hand, said they’d be perfect so he can hunt whatever comes up to eat the berries. I was like, “No! That’s not why we planted berries!” Sigh.

Yesterday was my daughter’s 18th birthday! She is getting to be so strong and confident and amazing to me. I am so proud of her. She will graduate soon from college and plans to be one of the first enrollees for the newly combined Vermont State University this Fall.

All her life, she has wanted to be a librarian. She tells folks its because it is the only job you can tell people to shut up and be quiet and you can still keep the job. That’s your job as a librarian, to shush people…..along with providing a calm and relaxing safe space for them to read and write and collaborate and do fun learning. I’m really happy she decided on this path in life from the time she was 5 years old. I don’t know anyone with as much stick-to power and resolve as that kid. Once she makes her mind up about something, she sticks to it with all her heart. Me, I’m all over the place with this idea and that idea and “What about this?” or “What about that?” I am a dreamer and a box jumper as Mel Robbins would say with a severe need for process and simple discipline.

So, I’m trying to be more simply disciplined which means writing everyday about the Psalms and Proverbs readings I am doing with the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. I keep thinking I will run out of good stuff to write about but there is a slew of good info in these Psalms and Proverbs to ponder over. So, here are my stream of consciousness thoughts on Psalms 46-50 and Proverbs 10. According to this program, reading Psalms will strengthen your relationship to God while reading Proverbs will strengthen your relationship to other humans. I could really use that, especially working on my bonds with other humans.

Psalm 47 “He (God) shall choose our inheritance for us.”

This is so true.

I had visions of what my life would be as a kid. I guess I figured I would get married, settle down, have a steady job, maybe travel in the summers with my kids, and that really was about it.

I mean, I did have that pipe-dream once of going to Hollywood that came to me after a dream one time in college at like 3 am in the morning….but that was a little crazy. I’m kinda glad I didn’t just take off and go there cause I have friends that did and life did not fair too well for them honestly.

One friend, I saw years later, with missing teeth and he looked a little worn down and I heard recently he’s like a truck driver now or something.

“All the gold in California, is in a bank in someone else’s name…”

I think that’s an old classic country song and pretty true. Nah, I probably woulda gone there and tried to break into one line of business and end up in some seedier side of business like some of my friends did.

When I was 18, I went on a model call hoping to break into business in NYC. I stood in line for like 4 hours with lotsa other young girls who were really hoping to get their big chance. When I got up to the lady at the desk, I handed her some pictures I’d taken for my upcoming wedding with my husband. She looked em over, she said I had “a lot of color”. I think that was the polite way of saying, “You got gobs of freckles.” I replied something like I’d seen magazines with girls with freckles and red hair and thought I’d try too. She approved of that and looked down at my pictures again. Then she kinda wrote something down and motioned me over and went to the next girl.

I waited and waited and waited. Then after about 2 hours, she stood up and called the names of the girls that got to advance to the next round. It kinda felt like a cattle call to me, not gonna lie. I waited with my head down and then about midway through she said my name and I honestly looked up all surprised and happy.

They even called me on the phone to invite me to come to NYC but my husband wanted to get married and was a soldier and was going to be stationed soon in Germany. I had the choice between love and career. I chose love. I went off to Germany to be a military spouse.

Another friend of mine went to NYC later for modeling.

Years later, we met up again. She had gone to Paris and was there for five or so years. She didn’t talk much about her experience or what she did in Paris. I kinda got the impression down the road, that maybe choosing love was the right choice.

Do I regret not trying those things? Honestly, sometimes. But, what I do know for sure now in my 40s, is that I have lived a good and adventurous life that far, far exceeded so far anything that I envisioned for myself as a kid.

“he will choose your inheritance for you.”

I think God chooses a better life for us, for most of us anyway. Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi often say that “life is working for you rather than at you.”

I think this is true. We just gotta go with the flow and make positive, good, and wise choices and things will turn out in our favor, way beyond anything we could have anticipated with our small minds and small visions.

Could I, as a child, have conceived the notion I would live in Israel and Europe and Kansas and Virginia and the mountains of Vermont? Heck no. Am I glad it happened this way? Heck yeah. I thank God for that and am grateful to still be around daily.

I look forward to what the future holds for me. I really do. Even if something bad happens, I have learned that it could be a lesson that will benefit me in the future. But most of the time, mostly good things happen through the grace and mercy of God.

Psalm 48 “Mount Zion”

I really don’t know what Mount Zion is.

Is that stupid?

I literally want to know exactly what it is cause all my life, I’ve been hearing this thrown about here and there and I got no clue what Mount Zion is. So one moment….

It says that it is the high hill on which King David of Israel built the citadel in Jerusalem.

Ok, I know that place. I stayed in a youth hostel once near there. It was kinda creepy. I ended up moving to some other hostel down by the Via Dolorosa, which is the road that Jesus took to the Cross (where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is now). We were neighbors with Benjamin Netanyahu. I just remember that which is kinda cool cause my friend pointed out his place with the flag on it one time. Anyways, that was a waaaaaay better youth hostel, oh my gosh!

At the first one, I was in a bunk bed in a big room with a whole bunch of other people and this one dude across from me was just staring at us. So then we went to the other youth hostel a few hours later, cause that guy wouldn’t stop staring at 3 in the morning, and we ended up in rooms by ourselves which was so much better. It was in the Christian quarter too and I could sit in the window and watch all the people walking the long walk up to the Cross and praying and some were even on their knees for some of the walk which had to hurt.

Psalm 48 “Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an East wind.”

Where the heck is Tarshish? That’s like being in Germany and asking, “Where the heck is Ausfarht?”

This is the information on Tarshish that I found on http://www.biblestudytools.com:

“The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise to not a little discussion. Some think there was a Tarshish in the East, on the Indian coast, seeing that “ships of Tarshish” sailed from Eziongeber, on the Red Sea ( 1 Kings 9:26 ; 22:48 ; 2 Chr 9:21 ). Some, again, argue that Carthage was the place so named. There can be little doubt, however, that this is the name of a Phoenician port in Spain, between the two mouths of the Guadalquivir (the name given to the river by the Arabs, and meaning “the great wady” or water-course). It was founded by a Carthaginian colony, and was the farthest western harbour of Tyrian sailors. It was to this port Jonah’s ship was about to sail from Joppa. It has well been styled “the Peru of Tyrian adventure;” it abounded in gold and silver mines.”The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise to not a little discussion. Some think there was a Tarshish in the East, on the Indian coast, seeing that “ships of Tarshish” sailed from Eziongeber, on the Red Sea ( 1 Kings 9:26 ; 22:48 ; 2 Chr 9:21 ). Some, again, argue that Carthage was the place so named. There can be little doubt, however, that this is the name of a Phoenician port in Spain, between the two mouths of the Guadalquivir (the name given to the river by the Arabs, and meaning “the great wady” or water-course). It was founded by a Carthaginian colony, and was the farthest western harbour of Tyrian sailors. It was to this port Jonah’s ship was about to sail from Joppa. It has well been styled “the Peru of Tyrian adventure;” it abounded in gold and silver mines.

It appears that this name also is used without reference to any locality. “Ships of Tarshish” is an expression sometimes denoting simply ships intended for a long voyage ( Isaiah 23:1 Isaiah 23:14 ), ships of a large size (sea-going ships), whatever might be the port to which they sailed. Solomon’s ships were so styled ( 1 Kings 10:22 ; 22:49 ).”

Ah I see now, Tarshish is maybe some place related to Phoenician or Carthaginian culture which supposedly was founded by the Phoenicians who worshipped a different diety. Ok, that makes sense. Incidentally, I read something that when Rome and Carthage fought and had their 3 wars against each other, after Carthage was destroyed, the inhabitants relocated then to Ireland. I don’t know if this is true or not, but if so would that mean that the ancient Druids are really just evolved from Carthage culture and earlier back Phoenician culture?

Psalm 49 “I will incline my ear to a parable.”

Hmm, I love that Jesus taught valuable lessons in parables or stories. There’s something else I noticed about the guy too. He asked lots of questions quite directly. It must have been very unnerving to have someone come up to you and ask you directly the question that was bothering you in your heart. No wonder folks were bothered by him. He just seemed to know what to ask and how to ask to teach lessons that were sometimes probably quite harsh realizations.

I watched a zoom webinar recently in which the teacher started out by asking people to admit things they needed to change in their lives and this got a bit awkward for me as one of the major things I do not like to admit is I would rather not admit to you my “weaknesses” as I admit I do not trust you to not use those to your advantage or position of authority or power over me.

How many folks just don’t say what they are really feeling? It’s like everybody’s got a poker face trying to relate to each other but coming from a point of falsehood from the get go and so the outcomes don’t match the expectations and everything veers off course from what is intended if true words and true emotions and true thoughts were truly expressed.

It’s like that game we played as kids about talking on the telephone and one person has a message and passes it to the next in line and after 20 kids, the final message is way off from what the original message was intended to be.

This is life and yet, oddly it still works out and stays in motion and the planet keeps turning and we don’t all fall off it. So weird. So weird and baffling how everything works out.

Ok, so my favorite parable? Hmmmm, I like the one about the boss with the talents that are given to the employees. One buries the talents. One multiples the talents. One puts the talents in a bank so it can grow interest.

The guy who buries the talents gets in trouble and has everything taken away from him. I guess it’s a good reminder to be brave and smart and try new things even though the risks are high. It is better to try than not try at all. Life is meant to be lived, not survived.

Jump off the high dive. Either you do a fantastic execution of a jump or even a dive or you do a fantastic belly flop which causes a tidal wave and makes everyone laugh wholeheartedly. It’s meant to be fun, right? I gotta remind myself of this daily, especially at my 9 to 5.

Psalm 50 “He who gathers in summer is a wise son.”

My son will work this summer. He will get his first job. I am excited for him. We’ve been car shopping too for that first rusty clunker of a first car for him. We looked at an old blue Subaru with 126,000 miles on it and a big dent in the side. Hey, it’s good for him right….to have a clunky box of a car at first…to learn the value of a dollar and if you work hard enough, you can buy a better car that doesn’t die at intersections or look like a jalopy. It builds character to have a hoopty car right off the bat. Plus they are great fun for partying with friends cause you don’t care if you tear a car like that up. On the other hand, you get a red shiny sports car, you are handling it like your precious baby and polishing it every moment and getting jumpy about any scratches or dings in it. No fun at all.

Yes, hoopty cars are a blast! Great for cruising with your high school pals and doing wild and crazy stuff like you should be doing as a teenager to an extent.

I’m happy for him. He’ll get his first car and first job and start gathering money for college like this saying says….like a wise son.

Ok, that’s all I got for today for reading Psalms 46-50 and Proverbs 10. Thanks for reading and add any comments you want. I’m playing catch up on the past few days so my next readings are Psalms 51-55 and Proverbs 11 if you want to read along or wait for me to catch up to you on the trail.

Thanks, and have a good day!

Words of Wisdom, Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9

It is Day 9 in reading Psalms and Proverbs for the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. I am reading Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9 today. Tomorrow, I read Psalms 46-50 and Proverbs 10. You are welcome to join me.

Reading Psalms is supposed to help deepen your relationship to the Divine while reading Proverbs is supposed to help build your relationships to other humans. These are the items that stood out to me in the readings and just my stream of consciousness thoughts on them. My dog’s sitting beside me today as I type. Just his presence nearby is super comforting and I prayed a second that the Holy Spirit would give me some good ideas to write about.

Psalm 41 “Blessed is he who considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”

There’s this really great classic country song called The Outlaw’s Prayer and was sung by Johnny Paycheck way back probably in the 1970s. I guess it’s a reminder to invite and include everyone in church just as St. John the Baptist or maybe even Jesus might feel uncomfortable today if they got in a time machine and came to a big fancy Sunday church service in modern times. Here’s the song:

I guess it’s a reminder to consider the poor and be inclusive. Although, to be fair, sitting next to a wilderness guy like John who probably hadn’t had a bath in a really really long time, might honestly be a little challenging. Not gonna lie.

My church back home started up about a decade ago a little place downtown to feed the poor called The Lord’s Diner. A lot of people in the community would volunteer their time there and work really hard to make one nice meal a day for everyone in the community that might need it. Lotsa families came to the diner. It was really a great place. They made really nice meals with desserts too and there were probably 100 people including many kids at each event.

The Lord’s Diner was an idea I think of the local bishop in Wichita and the funding came through the Catholic Church and the idea of these diners was even supposedly supported by the Pope himself.

After the start of the Diner, many folks in the community would donate food items too or produce from their gardens. Several overnight facilities sprouted up too from other churches as homeless shelters. A lot of times, high school kids would receive extra credit points for school if they volunteered at the Diner too.

I guess the ending of this passage is just to say if you extend mercy to others down on their luck, someday that kindness might get repaid, or you could at least make a new friend, or God will later extend his mercy and kindness to you in return. Good karma.

It was a really good thing that they started in that small community and it certainly made a difference.

Psalm 42 “My soul thirsteth for the Lord.”

Man does not live on bread alone but on the instruction of the Word. It provides guidance of how to live and it also nourishes and renews the motivation to continue on in life. Going to church or a Bible study or even just reading some Bible time on your own can oddly make you feel better and more light-hearted and kinder towards others.

Oftentimes this time spent learning these things is called The Living Waters. I guess that fits this description of thirst.

I went to an oasis in the desert once. It was cool. It was on a sunrise trip to Masada, Israel. Masada is this huge mountain in the desert that has old ruins at the top. You climb Masada to see where the old religious community lived that held out against the Roman invasion centuries and centuries ago. It’s a heckuva hard climb in the heat and among the rocks on a tiny little mountain path to the top and by the time you get up there, you’re face is red and you’re breathing super hard. I honestly don’t know how these folks survived up there and even built homes cause I would not want to climb that daily….no way.

“Hey Bill, go get some groceries and bring them back or fetch some water from the well and bring it up?”

“Uh….no, no thanks. I’ll pass.”

“Anyone else wanna go get dinner for tonight and bring it back?”

No response.

“Ok, I guess we’re eating leftovers again tonight.”

I would be so skinny if I had lived there for sure.

Near Masada was this oasis. It was just a little pond with 2 waterfalls and people would get in and swim. It was really neat, living waters in the desert. Reading these Psalms daily is really relaxing to me. It makes me happy kinda like swimming around in a little hidden oasis from the daily duties of life.

Ok, perhaps that metaphor is a bit corny….but heck, pretty true.

Psalm 42 “I went with them to the house of the Lord with a voice of joy and praise.”

During Covid, we stayed home from Church but sometimes we watched church services online and I always felt a little uplifted by that as if it would make my day better. It helped to kinda ease some of the pandemic worry.

It was like that at the nursing home too. They had church service twice a week for the residents and I noticed that the ones that came out of their rooms and participated seemed in a better mood later that day generally.

Psalm 42 “Deep calleth unto deep.”

Ok, this is kinda a weird phrase and reminds me of Gandolf and all them running through the Mines of Moria and he says something like they have awoken something in “The Deep.”

Cue the suspense. Ominous undertones.

And we see this creepy fire monster boogie man thing that has a gnarly whip thingy that chases them down but you don’t really see the guy until the very end, they just see the shadow of the fire approaching. Then there’s this amazing villain boss clash with the wizard….and I am digressing way off course with this….lol.

Ok, I just got to say something…

Gandolf is the best character in that series, hands down.

Fly you fools.


So, I guess The Deep in both this show and in the Bible is, you know, um…like those super creepy new YouTube videos of the strange fallen angel sounds that supposedly are coming out from under the Euphrates that is drying up. Is that stuff real????? Cause that’s crazy! And how did they get someone to actually get that close and record those sounds? That guy’s nuts!

“Hey John, could you get a little closer to that deep dark hole there and kinda hold the microphone into the….

(loud sound of shackles and chains and some otherwordly thing moaning like a caged dragon.)


John walking away.

“I quit! Find some other camera guy!”

(Other camera crew turn to each other.)

“That stuff can’t be real, right…….right…..um…..like some Reign of Fire thing or something down there? Can somebody get some buckets of water? Let’s fill this river back up.”

(More creepy moaning sounds.)

“Ok, could you hurry up on that water, please?”

Psalm 42 “Mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, “Where is thy God?”

This statement happened a lot in the Bible. It seems to be the first thing critics say to someone who believes.

Look at all this warfare! Look at all this crime! Look, you are thrown in prison! Look, your kid is an addict! Etc. Etc. Where is your God in all this?

It is a technique to wear someone down with doubt. It happened to Jesus in the desert with the Devil and it happened on the Cross.

Where is your God? Come down from there? Have him save you! Where is he?

Seems like a really callous thing to say to someone at the end. Just sayin’.

Not very respectful, maybe. A tad bit harsh, maybe.

The part that for some reason really bothers me is the guys that are playing dice for Jesus’ stuff while he’s hanging on the cross. Those guys are so mean!

It’s like being an old relative about to pass and all your family divide up your property and things before you even die!

You’re like, “I’m not dead yet.”

“I know but, we wanted to go ahead and split up the farm and we thought it’d be a good idea if, you know, I get the car and she gets the house and he’s gonna take the tractor cause you don’t need it, right? Oh, and I thought I’d take your old coin collection, ok?”

Cold. So cold. People actually do this to their relatives, especially the older ones that were loaded with cash. It is sad.

Psalm 43 “Hope thou.”

Hope – I’m not sure what the true definition of it is. I guess hope is basically just believing that you will get to a better place, hopefully away from those dice-playing guys. What jerks!

“Ok, I got ten down on those Addidas sneakers…but hey, look at this cool leather wallet. Ok, wait a second guys, I’m changing my mind. I’ll put my ten down on the wallet.”

“I’m not dead, yet.”

“Shhh, be quiet! We’re trying to play a game. You’re interrupting!”

Psalm 44 “Redemption is remembered in present dishonor.”

So one of my favorite women of the Bible was Hannah. She was the second wife or maybe the first one and the other lady was the second. Oh, anyway, point is….the guy had 2 wives that lived together. What was this man thinking?

Not very bright one, was he?

Anyway, one wife had loads of babies. She just kept popping them out, one after another. She liked to brag about it too…..all her clan of kids. Meanwhile, poor Hannah couldn’t have kids. She kept trying and trying and trying. But no, nothing happened which must have made her real sad. Compound that with, being saddled up in the same house with the lady with 15 some kids wandering around everywhere…..Hannah must have been quite miserable.

In fact she got so miserable she went to Shiloh and was praying and acting a little drunk or something, who knows (who wouldn’t drink at least some Moscato at that point?)……so she prays and she gets pregnant.

And not just pregnant with any boy. She gets pregnant with Samuel, the Judge and leader.


Take that, lady!

That’s awesome. So happy for Hannah.

Redemption story.

It just took a little time. Poor Hannah just had to deal with it for a while but then, viola! Perfection! A miracle and not just any miracle.

She had Samuel.

So, if you’re going through a really hard time and people are putting you down for something you can’t control like your past, or your appearance, or your whatever, “stars upon thars Dr. Seuss” issue or like Hannah, your ability to have children, just remember……redemption. My day is coming, just wait on the Lord.

Psalm 44 “Our hearts are not turned back; neither have our steps declined from thy way.”

It musta been crazy to cross the ocean floor at the Red Sea when it parted. Imagine, escaping Egypt and you got your little ox and cart and all your kids and Moses is like, “Go on, step out in there and cross over.”

I think I could cross at the beginning. I’d probably do a double-take at least or point at my chest like, “Me? Are you referring to me?”

But that had to be claustrophic to look to the left and see a great big wall of water and look to the right and see a great big wall of water probably with a whale in it or something, and you’re just bumping along in your little ox cart with your four kids and wife.

“Just look straight ahead, honey.”

“But dear, I think I just saw a shark over there.”

Takes a lot of simple trust.

Psalm 45 “My God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness.”

Anointing the head with oil is an ancient tradition and used in India too and other countries around the world. In old times, shepherds would use oil on their sheep. They would pour oil over the head of the sheep to keep bad things like bugs and parasites off the sheep.

The Lord is my shepherd.

Psalm 45 “King’s daughters were among the honourable women….the King’s daughter is all glorious within.”

To be a child of God is to be a son or daughter of the King. You are royal by birth usually but also by choice when you choose him. So stand tall with dignity and don’t let anyone bring you down.

If I am a daughter and you are a son, that makes you my brother or any daughter becomes my sister. It doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside or our stations in life. You are my brother or sister.

Daughters of the King are made to be beautiful on the inside by treating everyone with principles of goodness and kindness. A Proverbs 31 woman is a good woman to know.

Proverbs 9 “He who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.”

I was confused by this one for a bit. I thought, “Well, aren’t we supposed to point out wickedness?” Then I thought about that line about pray for your enemies and something else I remembered about, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

So then I got to thinking that this passage means to stay in faith, pray for your enemies, ask for God’s protection, and be more child-like and trusting and giving folks the benefit of the doubt and giving your worries to God. I think that is what this one line means. Let God handle it.

Proverbs 9 “The way of folly – And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are here, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

Be cautious of traps. Don’t walk into a Hotel California moment. Be aware of your surroundings and have discernment. If someone wants you to eat secret and stolen things……yeah, that’s a bad person there. Her guests are probably no good either. Stay away from trouble.

God is the way, the truth, and the light. He’ll light your path. In the meantime, stay away from dark alleyways and secret dark places, places where you got no business being. Follow your intuition.

That’s all I got for Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9. Thanks for reading and have a good day.

The Last Turkey

There’s a turkey in my yard. He’s out in the field, out in the open. I see him every day. He’s out and exposed to the elements and everything. He seems like a foolish turkey. He’s kinda brave though, I’ll give him that. Foolhardy and reckless but brave.

He’s the last of the turkeys.

Last Spring, I saw a mother turkey with 12 baby turkeys following her around the yard. And they grew and grew and they grew. I watched the turkeys throughout Summer and Fall. There was this big group of them. It was hard to not see them. They wandered all over the place.

Then, one day, a hunter shot one of them. The group went down to 11 or so. A few weeks later, I saw them in the yard and there was maybe 8 or 9. Their numbers dwindled as the seasons slowly progressed.

Then winter came. I didn’t see the turkeys for quite a long, long time. Then one day, I saw only 2 left in the field. They had come up near the house in the deep, deep snow and were trying so hard to jump up and down to peck food from the branches of a leafless tree. I watched em for a bit and felt sorry for the turkeys, so I got a big bowl of birdseed and set it out in the snowbanks for them to find and spread seed all over the snow.

My husband said it was stupid and I shouldn’t even bother.

I didn’t see the turkeys for a few months of more snow after that.
And now, there’s one big, fat turkey left wandering around by himself in the yard. He looks lonely all by himself. I get out the binoculars and watch him a bit. Day after day he comes back and wanders aimlessly around the open field. I feel bad for the turkey and hope he finds a mate somewhere soon and again the field can be full of happy little turkeys.

There are ducks in the pond too. I watch em with the binoculars. there are two ducks and they appear to be mates. She is brown with white feathers. He is strikingly beautiful with a green head. They dip into the water and play around a bit. They seem pretty happy together. I think they have built a nest hidden somewhere.

They remind me of my chickens I had once. I grew chickens. I grew them in a bucket with a heat-lamp and watched them get bigger and bigger day by day. They stunk something awful and were a lot of work but I would pick em up and pet em and I got pretty attached to them each. I know you are not supposed to name them but I did. They were Ace, and Sabo, and I had a few others too named. Can’t remember all the names now.

I transferred them to a pen outside. We built fortifications from predators and it seemed pretty indestructible. Every day, I’d go out before work and feed them guys. They each had their own personality and were getting so big and, in my eyes, so beautiful. I had started to fall in love with them.

Towards the end of August, they were getting really big and one was a rooster. He would make noise in the morning that would wake the neighbors up. That was when I started to get worried.

I knew they would lay eggs soon too and our family was happy with them.

Then one night, something got to the perimeter. It didn’t happen slowly with small digs at the perimeter. The predator struck hard and fast, digging a giant hole but fortunately, my smart husband had buried the fence deep into the ground and it could not penetrate it. Still the damage was bad.

We rebuilt fortifications and looked at our handiwork and were almost certain things would be okay. The chickens would lay eggs soon. But the rooster, he starting crowing every morning and that crowing alerted something even bigger and more threatening to them.

It came in the night.

It must have been studying them.

They all died.

It was pretty bad.

I heard the big dog that night in my bed and it barked ominously and woke me up. I moved next to my husband closer cause the sound of the bark was frightening to me. And then, I went back to sleep, thinking everything was okay.

The next day I gathered feed for the chickens and stepped barefoot outside in my pajamas. I saw the feathers first. It literally was a massacre of chickens. There were feathers all over the yard. There were 2 chicken carcasses in the yard, one in the pen and one chicken that must have been the last stand, that was in the coop probably hiding from this predator that had smashed into the coop itself and wrecked carnage on the last one. The destruction to the last one was really, really bad.

I dropped the bucket of feed.

I don’t really know what the point of telling all this is, but to say that I learned a thing or two about life and predators from that moment.

Predators wait. They study. They watch. They learn the point of weakness, where to attack. Predators, when they strike, strike very hard and very fast. Usually when they strike, the violence is worst on the last victim.

You can’t really control it. As much as you could want to, you can’t control death.

So I keep looking at that big, fat solitary turkey wandering aimlessly around the yard. Tomorrow, I wonder if he will still be there.

Perhaps he will. Perhaps he will not.

This is life.

Words of Wisdom, Psalms 36-40 and Proverbs 8

This is Day 8 in reading the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. We delve deeper into the Psalms and Proverbs and I begin to wonder if I will run out of good stuff to read and if it will just repeat itself over and over. However, there’s still lots of good passages here to kinda think over.

Psalms are supposed to build your relationship with God or the Universe, the Creator, while Proverbs are supposed to build your relationship with other humans.

Here’s my stream of consciousness thoughts on those readings today. Tomorrow the readings are Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9 if you want to read along and see what you find. They are easy reads and I just listen to them on YouTube. Much easier.

Psalm 36 “For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.”

The fountain of life makes me think of being a little kid and reading about the great explorers and I think there was a guy from Spain maybe that was searching and searching for this fountain of youth over and over again in Florida I think, although probably all he found was gators and maybe some great beaches to go suntanning and get wrinkles.

There is a place in Kansas. It is in the center of Kansas. All that remains is the ruins of a fortress on a hill. It is called Coronado Heights. Coronado was the great explorer that was endlessly searching for the City of God, or 7 Cities of God, or whatever….point was he was looking to get rich. He got to Kansas, built a fort, stayed there a bit. I think he musta looked around at Kansas, said, “Screw this” and turned around and went home. Ah, Kansas, land of my youth…the flyover state.

Actually there is gold in Kansas…but you have to look up to see it. Kansas sunsets. They are beautiful and golden in the sky and better sunsets than you will find anywhere else in the world. The thing with Kansas is you gotta look up. That’s the important part.

People in Kansas have really good faith…maybe it’s cause they look up when others look down or look around. If you get a chance to see the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria, Kansas, it is well worth the visit. It is a great big giant church in the middle of what looks like just farmland area. Pretty place. You’d like it. My ancestors helped build it.

“in thy light shall we see light”

When we look up at a sunset what do we see? Lots of pink and yellow and orange and vivid fluffy clouds and we feel lighter and happier. We have a higher frequency of being operating in lightness rather than the heaviness of looking down and around, grounded and stuck to the Earth like a low frequency pollywog in the mud. A pollywog is a tadpole.

Psalm 37 “Cease from anger and forsake wrath.”

Being around angry people rubs off on you. Surround yourself with peaceful and calm folks and you’ll feel a lot better. Anger and drama is too stressful like they say in the Desiderata, “they are a vexation of the spirit.” Literally. Angry people vex me and turn me into an ugly troll of a person. I can’t stand my personal character when I am around a lot of overly dramatic people full of strife and constant demands.

You ever work for a boss who is constantly calling you into their office for stupid stuff or nitpicking and criticizing all the mistakes and barely even once acknowledging all the good you do? This is so life draining like watching the redheaded secretary in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, constantly hopping around to get coffees and rushing to fix things and then, being so undervalued for her contributions, that she easily gets bypassed for the other girl despite her hardest efforts? This is awful and kinda why folks throw around the term narcissism. It’s really a messed up thing to bend over backwards for another and still not be judged “good enough”. What is “good enough?” What does it mean? What is the definition? Somebody asked me this the other day in a Zoom and I literally looked at them dumbfounded and baffled and lacking a response.

What is enough? To what standard? To what value? Is your enough the same as my enough? Are we playing in the same game here? Are you in the game and I am on the sidelines as a Bobby Boucher water boy?

Being around someone that says, “You are not enough” that will mess up your self-confidence and self-worth so bad. It’s only when someone throws off the shackles of this complex relationship that they begin to bloom again by self-emancipation. I’ve seen this happen to lots of men and women. It happens to both sexes and I honestly don’t know how to fix it other than move out of the environment.

Sometimes a plant outgrows a pot where all the minerals are gone. It needs to be replanted somewhere else where it can thrive again. Sometimes this is how life is.

As a military spouse, I moved all over the world. Each environment was different. In some environments, man, I really blossomed and thrived. In other environments, it was awful and I absolutely could not wait to move to somewhere else. The conditions of the environment were just not right for my soul.

If you are a young person reading this, know that one of the most important things I learned in life as a military spouse is that sometimes a place is not right for our soul whether it is a school, a job, a home, a community, etc. Not that it is bad but perhaps it doesn’t provide what we need to thrive. Move to a different place. Go to a different school. Don’t waste time mucking around trying to thrive in a tiny pot of soil that don’t feed your soul. You need more to thrive. If a place doesn’t accept you for who you are, if you feel in your heart you don’t fit in, if you feel oppressed and burden by some inexplicable intuition, follow your gut and find a new soul tribe. There are 7 billion people on the planet. Go find your tribe.

Or you can, re-adjust, acknowledge you’ve got much to learn, and be open to the possibility that your way of life is not the only way. 6+3 = 9 but so does 4+5. There are lots of ways of doing things and getting the same outcome. So if you don’t fit in, consider opening your mind to the possibility you got things to change or improve on or to adapt and learn……try openly to do those things and if you still don’t feel right, move on.

That’s my advice to my 20 year old self. I am still learning that. I don’t like to adapt. I frickin’ don’t like it at all. But adaption is a key element of evolution, progress, and success.

The only thing constant in life is change. When you can manage change well like a mouse running in the maze looking for its’ cheese that got moved AGAIN…for like the 13th time now…COME ON…and you don’t get too angry about it…ok, well,maybe a little……..you will do well in life. But honestly, sometimes I get really frustrated by the jerk that keeps moving my cheese. What a bleep bleep.

Psalm 37 “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.”


Often times in the Bible readings, Jesus just talks about dead people like they went to sleep. They are resting. We say things like “rest in peace.” It was like Lazarus was just resting for a bit, waiting for Jesus to show up and then woke up and was like, “Hey man, where you been?”

Often times in life, it’s kinda like a giant marathon that seems to never end and then it suddenly abruptly does end, often times we gotta take a bit of a rest.

I imagine running a marathon must kinda suck. I’ve only run half-marathons and one was really cool, cause I was running through Disney World with Disney characters waving happily to me which was a bit surreal really when you are going through hell trying to get to a finish line just to end the race. I was like, “Hey Stitch!” “Hey Lilo! Thanks for cheering me on!” while I was breathing really hard and feeling like my legs were all rubber.

Having a family while running the great marathon of life is a bit like this. Your cute kids or spouse cheering you on while you’re just trying to survive your 8 to 5 on a daily basis. My kids are my Lilo and Stitch (I’m not gonna say which one is Stitch, they are a bit of Stitch and a bit of Lilo together) so I guess my husband would be……..hmmm, maybe Sven. Yeah, he would be Sven from Frozen: strong, loveable, and dependable ole Sven who loves the snow.

Psalm 37 “those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the Earth.”

This reminds me of the Beatitudes: the meek shall inherit the Earth.

Being meek always used to equate to weakness for me.

Meek people are shy and introverted and just awkward and it seems they have lotsa negative qualities…at first. But the meek are also slow to anger, slow to judgment or if they judge, they keep it to themselves. They just wanna be left alone it seems like hobbits in the Shire. And as we all know, well the hobbit is the one that must carry the ring to Mordor because the hobbit is humble, not vain-glorious. He just wants to be left alone and to go back to the Shire to dwell in his cute little earth dwelling and munch on 4 breakfasts and drink and sing songs with his buddies at the local festival. And despite their harry feet, hobbits if you are lucky enough to know one, are the most loyal and loving of friends…..as are the meek.

They are not interested in the ring or the crown or the power or any of that nonsense. They just want to eat cheese and maybe sit in a hammock and take a nap after a long day in the field. The best rulers or politicians are the ones who don’t want the title but they do it cause well, it needs to be done. They do it out of a sense of duty and for only a short time and go back to their happy way of hobbit life and hobbitsing around ……just like soldiers in war or presidents that serve four years….like George Washington who insisted on term limits for Presidents. They know power corrupts and the longer you stay in power, the worse you become internally and the more dangerous your own path in life.

Meekness is then not weakness. It is wisdom.

Psalm 38 “But I, as a deaf man, heard not and I was as a dumb man that openth not his mouth”

Ah, but there is the rub.

Someone who is too meek and mild does not step up to the plate when needed. How many people just kinda watch the negative news at home and are just grateful its not them having the drama and just go about their daily and don’t really stand up or address anything or say anything or do anything and then “evil thrives when good men do nothing?”

The Bible mentions this a lot as “lukewarmness.” I guess it’s a really bad quality to have, although I prefer to take a shower in lukewarm water and there is a time and place for lukewarmness.

Lukewarm water does not clean dishes. When there’s a mess, don’t expect lukewarmness to clean it up. It can’t. The bacteria just spreads. If you got something bad on your plates, you gotta dip em in hot water to get rid of it.

You got a bad potato in a bag of potatoes, it will rot all the potatoes and really stink like sewer…I know cause that happened in my kitchen this week and I was like, “Gah! What the heck is that poo smell!” I had to throw the whole bag out and get some Febreeze.

When we don’t strike when the iron is hot, when we don’t feel a sense of urgency to address a minor concern, it can snowball into a major problem.

My husband hasn’t fixed the dishwasher for 4 weeks now. I’ve been doing a lot of dishes by hand. I am getting tired of doing dirty dishes. They keep piling up endlessly. He really needs to get the dishwasher fixed before this dishwasher goes on strike or kaput too. Just sayin’.

Be a fixer. Fix the little things before they become the big things. In Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood’s character is a fixer. He tinkers around seeing things in his neighborhood that need fixing. He wants to help the boy too to become a fixer rather than a gang kid. So he instructs him on tools and cars and washing machines and so forth, and they develop a friendship and he re-ignites his relationships to his community and ultimately, finds his own purpose and fulfillment in helping in the lives of his friends in the neighborhood.

Become a fixer, not a gang kid. There’s no path up with the gangs. A lot of folks don’t know how to fix but rather to run down stuff. Fixers are special and definitely needed. Mechanics, engineers, builders, etc. These are special people. If you got a good mechanic for a friend, you are darn lucky. That friendship is a goldmine there.

Psalm 39 “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that, I may know how frail I am.”

I don’t want to know the day I will die. I don’t think anybody does. But when the Doc comes to you and says the end is coming soon, it really changes your perspective and you focus less on the stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. You ride a bull named Fu Manchoo as Tim McGraw would say.

Ok, maybe not that dramatic (maybe just a mechanical bull or one of those inflatable pool floatie bull riding things), but ok, maybe you focus more on your family and your kids. You go swimming with them at the pool.

You just want to make sure you have given your kids enough guidance and enough instruction that they can make it too through this life and you don’t want to leave them on this planet hanging and all alone and scared inside. I get that. So, people make videos in their end stages for their kids or take more pictures or go on last vacations, etc. It’s all done with the intent to show them love one last time.

To say goodbye. I’ll meet you again someday partner. Somewhere down the road. Happy trails.

Happy trails to you,

Until we meet again.

Keep smiling until then.

Don’t think about the clouds and stormy weather.

Just sing a song and we’ll be all together.

Happy trails to you…..until we meet again.

I think humans, if they really, really loved each other a whole lot, do meet up again. Just think about it, maybe your favorite Grandma who baked you cookies came back as your favorite dog later in life, that huskey or that border collie that snuggles up to you at night time to keep you warm or follows you about. Maybe.

Psalm 39 “Every man at his best state is all-together vanity.”

This is pretty profound. When we are at our best, we are at our vainest. When we are at our worst, we are at our most humble like a dog that has it’s ears down and avoids our gaze and tail hidden cause it got into something it should not have and made a huge mess of trash everywhere. Guilty. Guilty as charged. Eating pie and then eating humble pie later when you get caught and the evidence is everywhere.

I had this beautiful umbrella one time. I carefully put it over the dog pen to provide shade to the dogs. It was really, really nice and I would raise it in the morning and then lower it at night for the dogs. Summers would get scorching hot in Kansas like 104 degrees every day in August. You get used to it after a while.

But anyway, one day I did not put the umbrella up. I forgot. I come home and looked out the back window and where’d the umbrella go? I looked out and saw this hug torn up mess of the umbrella, just ripped to shreds and in a big pile and there was my dog, asleep on top of the pile of mess like he did not have a care in the world. Dogs are like that. Awnry. You gotta watch em. Like The Christmas Story, when they take the Christmas turkey off the dinner table and haul it all over the house and out the door to eat it. Yeah, dogs are great aren’t they? Awnry but fun and worth it. They are full of mischief.

Psalm 39 “My hope is in thee.”

My hope is in God. I mean, what else is there to hope in….lottery tickets? Maybe my odds are better with this than Powerball. Who really knows?

Psalm 39 “Before I go hence and be no more.”

That’s kinda depressing. There’s this song I used to play for my kids at bedtime. First, my son always wanted me to sing, “Home, home on the range.” We lived in Kansas, ok?

But the other song was this Billy Joel song called Lullaby (Goodnight, my angel). It’s really short but beautiful. It’s about lullabies and how they go on and on even after we are gone.

Life is short but stories can last longer maybe and in the telling of the lullabies and the stories we find the essence of our long ago humanity revived:

“Goodnight my angel, time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you’ve been asking me
I think you know what I’ve been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
Then you should always know
Wherever you may go, no matter where you are
I never will be far away

Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I’m rocking you to sleep
The water’s dark and deep, inside this ancient heart
You’ll always be a part of me

Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we’ll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die
That’s how you and I will be”

Psalm 40 “he brought me up from a horrible pit.”

I was in debt. I couldn’t pay my bills for the month. I got some message online on Facebook about St. Jude. I started to read it. It said St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes. He’s one of the disciples but because his name is so close to Judas, most folks don’t petition him much for assistance. They are like, “Oh, he’s that guy…..” But no, St. Jude was very close to Jesus and some say was even his brother. I don’t know. All I know is if you are struggling with something that seems hopeless, some folks recommend praying and asking this guy for help cause his name is like Judas and so nobody asks him for help and so when an opportunity comes for him to help, he really, really helps.

That’s why St. Jude’s hospital for kids with cancer is St. Jude’s. He helps with really bad situations. So, I prayed for help from St. Jude and honest to God, my husband got an extra commission check to pay off the overdue bill. It wasn’t huge but just enough. In exchange, now, I donate 25 bucks every month to St. Jude’s. I figure I’m slowly paying him back and heck, it helps sick kids.

Anyway, if you got something really bad that seems hopeless and you need help, consider St. Jude cause that guy’s like the help desk guy at the telemarketing building that never gets any phone calls cause everybody thinks he’s this other dude no one likes. Anyway, he’s probably bored just sitting by the phone and happy to have something positive to do to help you out.

Poor Judas…I mean Jude, geesh. Guy’s got it rough. Needs a name change.

Okay, I feel like I’ve been writing forever. I need to wind this thing down.

Proverbs 8 “Be of an understanding heart, listen.”

Thanks for being understanding and listening to my rambles. You’re a saint.

I went to a speech by Bill Clinton. We lived near Arkansas. It was really cool. I think I had a secret service guy sitting in the row behind me. Not really sure but he was suited and really cute and fit and wore a small fanny pack. Who wears a fanny pack to a speech in an auditorium? Anyway, gosh he was cute. Anyway, moving on.

Bill said during the speech that his best skill as a U.S. President was listening. He said it was his best quality and he learned it as a boy in Arkansas. He said his parents would have parties or bbqs at their house and invite guests from all over, all different walks of life and diversities. They had really great discussions over the dinner table and he learned as a small boy to value each and every person for some wisdom they could give you. He said everyone had something to teach you, you just had to listen openly. When he got to be President, he used that skill all the time bringing people to tables for dinners (remember all the news coverage about Bill eating food) and they would use that time to break bread and discuss major issues. That’s pretty smart. That’s really smart.

My husband throws a lot of bbq parties. I get tired sometimes of playing hostess for all his bbq parties but I tell you what, making good food for people is the best way to make a friend and build comraderie. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So true.

Proverbs 8 “Wisdom is better than rubies.”

Ok, this makes me think of Indiana Jones. So, this is the one movie he goes to Petra and he goes through all these tests to get to the room guarded by the old and crusty Knight Templar. There’s this vast underground room and in the room are all these chalices of every shape and size and of every rich material. Thousands of chalices to choose from and the knight tells him to pick out Jesus’ chalice from the Last Supper. Clever, very clever.

It’s the one that is just simple and made of olive wood.

I guess the moral of the story is the wisdom that represents Jesus and his teachings are better than all treasures to give you a good and valuable life of joy.

Proverbs 8 “Hear instruction and be wise and do not disdain it.”

Some instruction, probably like this long-winded article, are so yawningly boring. Sorry.

Proverbs 8 “All those who hate me (wisdom), love death.”

In the Bible, if you think of one person that really paved the way with instruction for Jesus, who was it and what happened to him?

St. John the Baptist

That was his job: to instruct people and baptize them and he went all over the place doing it. Apparently he liked to eat locusts too which is kinda a side note and super gross but anyway…

But, this crazy guy, this guy that lived in the wilderness and ate bugs, he was talking and talking and talking so much he made so many bad, bad enemies. One was Salome, the daughter of Herod. And, she literally, disdained his instructions of wisdom so much……she loved death so much….she served his head up on a silver platter.

That was one nasty, bad woman there.

I may dislike you.

Heck, I may even spend a little bit of time hating you and feeling guilty that I need to work on my anger management, but I ain’t never gonna serve your head up on a silver platter.

That takes a whole ‘nother level of evilness and villainy.

They love death.

Some folks actually do.

Why are all these murder shows so hugely popular? And horror movies? It fascinates and scares folks and some folks…

….it makes em wonder how they can do it. Just being real.

I worked in a photo factory. Lotsa photos went through in the 7 years I was there. One day, I saw this photo that I reported. It was of a little kid that looked terrified and had been beaten in the face. The kid was standing in the woods near a tree and looked scared to death. The kid was looking at the picture taker with terror in their eyes. Why would you want to memorialize a photo like that?

Some folks, man……some folks……

Ok, so that’s Psalms 36 through 40 and Proverbs 8. Tomorrow is Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9. Thanks for reading and have a good day.

Words of Wisdom, Psalms 30-35 and Proverbs 7

I continue on today, Day 7, in the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Today I read Psalms 30-35 and Proverbs 7. Tomorrow is Psalms 36-40 and Proverbs 8. You are welcome to join me daily.

Reading Psalms is supposed to strengthen your relationship with God while reading Proverbs will strengthen your relationships with other humans.

These are the items I found important in the Psalms 30-35 and Proverbs 7 readings today and just my stream of consciousness thoughts on them.

Psalm 31 “Into your hands, I commit my spirit.”

This is actually the title of Psalm 31 and it reminds me of what a preacher usually says in a eulogy at a funeral. Working at the nursing home, I saw people come and people go. I updated the bedmap once or twice a week based on admissions and usually once a week, there would be a bed change as someone had departed.

I kinda viewed the nursing home as maybe a train depot. People were just waiting to move on to their next destination. Often times, family members would come at the end to pay respects. You would walk by a room where someone was in their final moments, and gospel music would sometimes be playing like Amazing Grace or there were 6 or so family members gathered around in the room.

Daily operations went on like normal. It just became normal to me that people would move on and that we were there to help them transition in their final days. We were super busy and understaffed but you could tell the LNAs and LPNs and RNs got pretty attached to some of the residents and tried to make things better for them with little things here and there.

One time a woman passed away. It was not an easy death. She had many visitors too and was loved by a lot of people. I had to go in that night for benefits administration and it was particularly hard on the staff that night. She passed on, it was a hard death but the nurse said when she breathed her last…she suddenly smiled. I’ll never forget that. I wonder what she saw after passing. That’s a true story there.

Psalm 32 “Blessed is the man….that in who’s spirit, there is no guile. “

I am horrible with car salesmen and with time share folks. I always, always end up getting a bad deal. I fall for it, hook, line, and sinker.

We got this Ford F150 that we owe this huge monthly payment on every month. I learned my lesson there. 2 more years and it will be paid off. My husband wants a bigger diesel truck. I said, “Heck no!” It took forever to pay all that. He can drive it without the monthly payment for a while. It would be nice to have the breather for a bit until we gotta buy new.

I had a Volvo for 13 years. Never had an issue with it. Drove it everywhere. I even bought it from the factory in Sweden and drove it off the ferry back into Germany where we proceeded to get a rock in the windshield following behind a bunch of tourists on a bus.

I was cussing and cursing cause it was my brand new car and then we get to the Viking museum in Northern Germany and guess who’s there too? They were all happy and completely blissfully unaware camera-happy tourists.

I wanted a brand new beautiful and perfect car…..ah well, the best plans of mice and men.

Psalm 32 “Selah”

Ok, what is “Selah”? I keep seeing it over and over again all over the Psalms. I got no clue. Give me a moment to look this up a bit….ok this comes from the website http://www.pray.com:

“But in the New Living Translation of Psalm 68:19, Selah is translated as “Interlude.” “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day, he carries us in his arms. Interlude.” This could mean a musical interlude, considering the Psalms are often used as hymns.”

Oh makes sense. So the Psalms were songs and the Selah part is like the repeating lyrics or responsorial psalm part or the just music without words interlude part. Sorta like the riff in an Eagles song I guess.


Ok, I Googled greatest guitar riffs of all time and the #1 song was The Boys are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy. Hmm. Ok, moving on.

Psalm 33 “sing unto him with a new song.”

Ok, I learned something different on YouTube the other day. A lot of folks say to sage your house to keep the space clear of negative energy. Well the other day, I saw this interview with this exorcism priest and he said another thing that helps clear your energy in your house is playing gospel music or Gregorian chant lightly in the background every day for maybe an hour or two. It irritates anything negative and drives negative energy away. Ok, I never thought of doing that.

Psalm 33 “A mighty man is not delivered by much strength.”

This passage makes me think of Samson. His hair was cut by Delilah, he lost his strength, he was punished severely, blinded, beaten up, and bound to the 2 stone pillars inside the temple of his enemies. But even in his adversity, he asked God for one final burst of strength and pushed over the stone pillars causing the temple to collapse on these bad people. Like the saying, the mighty man met his death too and was not delivered from evil but in a way, he was able to redeem himself and stop evil.

I wanted to name my daughter Delilah because of that song, Hey There Delilah. I’m kinda glad I didn’t. It’d be like naming your daughter Jezebel. Her name is Eleanor….a great name. There are lots of great Eleanors in history – Eleanor of Aquitane, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Fitzgerald, etc. etc.

Eleanor of Aquitane was the French Queen who first developed the notions of knights and chivalry and love. Under her influence developed the notions of codes of honor for knights and the things associated with knighthood. Kinda like the stuff we see in the movie Camelot with Arthur and Lancelot and Gweneviere. But Eleanor, wow….she was a powerhouse in the 1100s. She became the Queen of France, the Queen of England, and then started and funded a Holy Crusade to the Middle East.

And then, of course, there’s Eleanor Roosevelt, who was an awesome first lady.

“A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is, until you get her in hot water.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Psalm 34 “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”

I do believe in angels. For some reason, the Archangels always remind me of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Heroes in a half shell. Turtle power. Just had to add that part.

Michael is one of my favorite and I carry a Michael medallion in my car when I drive. They say that if you pray to an angel for help, one of their signs is that people with names similar to that angel will start showing up in your life and currently I know a heck of a lot of Mikes coincidentally. I have like 10 Mike friends.

Michael is the defender.

Raphael is the healer.

Gabriel is the messenger.

and I always forget the other guy….one moment…um, Phanuel. So I had to look him up. Sorry, Phanuel, by the way. He’s like the guy in the 90s boy band, no one knows his name. His official title is the expeller of demons. He’s like the John Constantine of the Archangels I guess. Ok, I can understand now why he’s a bit incognito. He’s the ninja of the Archangels.

There are lots of other angels. Uriel helps with your family and your faith. Then there’s Muriel…she helps with tending the hearth……just kidding. There is no Muriel but if there was I kinda figure that’s what she’d do. Knit, crochet by the fire with her cup of tea, and have a big fluffy cat. The Angel Protector of all knitting projects.

“What are you making?”

“A sweater for Bob.”

“Have you prayed to Muriel to make sure the arms will not be uneven?”

“Oh thank goodness for Muriel! She fixes all my scarves and sweaters. What a sweetheart!”

Psalm 34 “The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the Earth.”

If you haven’t figured out yet, I like poems. This one is definitely like Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Years ago, I lived in Germany on a military base and was hugely interested in WWII history. We lived near Nuremburg and one day, a military intelligence friend took us to the old Hitler marching grounds. It even had the podium you see in those old black and white videos where he’s yelling all angry and mad and you got no idea what the guy is saying but he’s pretty passionate it, I’ll give him that. Kinda angry. Needs to take a chill pill. Somebody took his porridge I bet.

I walked up to the podium. It was still there but starting to fall apart from years of decay from weather and erosion. It was weird to stand behind it and I quickly moved away. I didn’t like it.

While we were there, we visited 3 camps: Dachau, Buchenwald, and Flossenberg. Dachau is where a lot of medical experimentation was done. Buchenwald which I think means book forest and is where a famous German author wrote books, Buchenwald was so freezing cold cause it was on the edge of a mountain with no forest or tree cover over the camp. They say when the prisoners were shipped there by train back from Auschwitz, they barely had any clothes and froze from the cold winds of the camp. It also, oddly, had a grizzly bear enclosure, and this one building I will never forget. It was the building the Soviets were taken to. They were made to stand outside the building in a line. One by one, after they were captured, they were brought into the building for a physical exam but the floors were concrete and wet with a drain in the middle. One by one, they would stand against the wall with a measuring tool. A man behind the wall would then open a small concealed door in the wall at the nape of their neck and then shoot them with a gun with a silencer on it. They would fall dead to the floor. They would be hauled off back and dumped in a body pile. The floor would be washed of their blood like nothing happened and then the next Russian prisoner of war would come in and repeat over and over and over again.

Flossenberg was interesting. It was right in town. You could not miss it and it sat under an old medieval castle. Flossenberg is where the homosexuals were taken and they were made to do death marches. This was really awful too. Day in and day out, the guards would take them on really long, long, long marathon runs. I’m talking like 30 or 40 miles in one day. The ones who would fall out and give up on the run would be shot by guards. One by one, eventually people got skinnier and skinnier the longer they were at the camp and the more they ran eventually it was inevitable that they would eventually fall out and be shot.

Psalm 34 “Evil shall slay the wicked.”

Woah. This one line is fascinating. Notice, it’s not the good guy or hero will slay the wicked. It is the even badder guy who will slay the wicked. Wicked knows wicked like an episode of Breaking Bad or Ozark or like dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. You wanna take out a bad guy. Convince an even more wicked bad guy that they are enemies and a threat. This is like some Sun Tzu Art of War wisdom here, T Rexes verses velociraptors.

As a kid, my all time favorite movie was The Land Before Time. The part where the little dinosaurs are getting chased by the bad T Rex and then the mother shows up and she’s bigger. She’s a Brontosaurus with a really long tail and she uses it repeatedly to stop the T Rex until he falls over the cliff. But he catches her and they both go over…..oh, man. Tearful, crying moment. Oh. I know it’s just a movie but man….that’s like Bambi when he’s running from the hunters and the gun shot and the mom doesn’t follow…or Dumbo, when they imprison the mom……oh, man, oh man.

Psalm 35 “Let them be confounded.”

Ah, another great way to defeat the bad guys in the Bible is to confound them. Confound them like a guy walking out of Wal-mart wondering where the heck he parked his car. This happens often in the Bible such as the building of the Tower of Babel or the Gideon battle. In the Bible it is called “speaking confusion into the minds of the enemy.”

Sorta like being the Roadrunner with Wiley Coyote or Bugs Bunny with Elmer Fudd.

Psalm 35 “False witnesses did rise up. They laid to my charge, things that I knew not.”

Be careful when you get a job where you are responsible for the money. Some folks will Reverse Robin Hood that stuff or worse, set you up as the fall guy or patsy for a bank heist or robbery.

I had a job once where I was closing the safe at a big department store at night. I had to count everything and there was usually about 150,000 dollars in the vault. I knew something was up when I got the job very shortly after I got hired for money exchanging. Some stuff started counting off in the cashier tills. I honestly wonder if I could have been slowly being setup for a heist cause I had to document the small currency discrepancies each time for a while showing a trail of “questionable activity”. 5 bucks here. 20 bucks here. It was like I could have been setup but fortunately another job came open and I jumped ship quick.

God does that. When we land in potential danger, suddenly he’ll open a window when a door is shut for us to crawl quickly out of if we have our wits about us. I moved on to the new job and did not look back.

I got the new job because I volunteered outside work installing software on computers and a friend of a friend of a friend put me in for a recommendation. The boss was much older but “overly friendly”. I got the job. It was a little awkward honestly. He’d come to my office to visit a lot and I felt more and more uncomfortable until suddenly 9-11 occurred and he headed off to Afghanistan for a long time.

See, how random things just seem to work in my favor some times? Like Joseph with Potiphar’s wife, I just had to hope everything would be alright…and it was.

Due to our reliance on God, people of faith are admittedly slippery to catch like an eel and more difficult to corner than the Runaway Bride. They rely a lot on their trust in God. They wait for God to open an escape hatch…and off they go, they shoot through it fast….running through the corn field with their wedding dress hiked up and their veil streaming behind em. Slippery. People of faith are super slippery. And they are also a little like cats if you do manage to corner them. They’ll surprise ya. They’ll definitely surprise ya. But it’s really just God surprising ya cause you didn’t expect that window of opportunity to open.

Proverbs 7 “he meets the strange woman….as an ox to the slaughter. He does not know it will cost him his life.”

This strange woman is awful. She’s all over Proverbs. The author writes about her so much.

As a woman, I waffle back and forth on this view of women. As a woman, I can understand the behaviors of the strange woman. However, there are some that use their “Jezebel Spirit” as some would say, to kinda lure men into lustful STD traps knowing full well they got something and shouldn’t share it.

Better just stick to your boring and plain cone rather than that triple dip with sprinkles covered in caramel waffle cone that’s made with sour milk and will give you a tummy ache. But dang, it looks so good.

That’s what I got outta reading Day 7 of the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Tomorrow is Psalms 36-40 and Proverbs 8. Thanks for reading and have a good day!